The more I travel, learn and experience, the more I realize how little I know of the world
It had been my childhood dream since I was 14 years old to visit the mysterious ancient city of Teotihuacán in Mexico. Already a ruin when the Nahua-speaking Mexica, better known as the Aztecs, came wandering onto the shores of Lake Texcoco in 1248 AD.
Teotihuacán was most probably founded by the Totonacs around 100 AD in traditional Otomi lands. The Totonacs ruled this city which was multi-cultural in character, maintaining quarters for the Totonac rulers as well as Zapotec and Mixtec artisans and several others.
The layout of the city was truly intriguing. Along the main avenue lay the stepped pyramids of the Sun and Moon and numerous temples. Side roads led to urban quarters with multi family buildings. The pyramids had seven platforms like the plans for Angkor Wat in Cambodia, thousands of miles away. In the Citadel lies the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. It incorporates the seven layer concept as well as being a time piece with it’s 365 steps. Many of the temples by the Moon pyramid dedicated to various deities of nature and animals, display a curious echo that resembles the animal they are dedicated to. The architecture and city planning with it’s advanced drainage system is truly a wonder of the world.
One wonders about the geniuses and skill to accomplish such a feat of planning and constructing this city at this time. It is unfortunate therefore that only about 20% of the city has been excavated. More funding has regrettably not been forthcoming. What funds there are available is barely enough to maintain the site.
Modern urban planning has been encroaching on the site. Wal-Mart was for example in 2004 allowed by the mayor of Mexico State to build in one corner of the park. Priceless artefacts were dug up during construction and shipped off to a dumping site. Workers who reported this were fired.
Let’s hope for humanities sake that short sighted greedy politicians will have the sense to leave Teotihuacán in peace. And that better meaning individuals succeed in securing funds to explore in earnest the 80% of this magnificent ancient city.
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I was there in December and really liked my visit (I blogged about it as well). It’s a shame the site is not more well preserved. It’s so cheap to get in, I’d hate to raise it too much and block locals from visiting, but they certainly could charge more considering the area’s historical significance.
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